Rambo capitalizes on Carlson’s hustle-play to push Whips past Atlas, 12-11 in OT

By Lauren Merola | Jun 26, 2021

Matt Rambo slipped a shot through the legs of Jack Concannon to call the game 12-11 in sudden death overtime against Atlas Friday night at Homewood Field.

Jay Carlson got his stick caught up in the arms of Tucker Durkin to rattle the ball loose from Durkin’s stick in overtime. Rambo picked up the ground ball and found himself one-on-one with Michael Rexrode before beating him and finding twine.

“He’s the best player nobody knows about,” Whipsnakes head coach Jim Stagnitta said of Carlson. “People don’t recognize what he does. He just makes play after play after play.”

Carlson also added two goals on the night.

“[Carlson] is the best ground ball player,” Rambo said. “He's the best rider. He's gritty. You know, there's a term, “garbage man,” but we call him, “Juicy J,” because you never know what he's going to do: catch a back hand, get a ground ball. He just does all the right plays that we need.”

The Whipsnakes' 11th consecutive victory puts the team three wins behind the longest win-streak in professional lacrosse history. Stagnitta and his 2013 Major League Lacrosse Denver Outlaws team currently hold the record at 14.

In the fourth, Atlas was nearing a 15-minute scoring drought before Eric Law stopped the bleeding for the Bulls. Law, doing what he does best, found the rebound off the post and sniped the put-back goal. He finished with a hat trick.

Overall, Bryan Costabile was pleased with Atlas’ performance. For most of the game, Atlas’ defense stood steady and shut down Zed Williams. The offense made the most of the shot clock, controlled the pace on offense and dominated the first half.

“There's nothing huge that needs to be done,” Costabile said. “If everyone cleans it up a little bit, I think that we will be in a great position to make the most of it on Sunday.”

Costabile ripped a hat trick to give Atlas the 8-5 edge and Jake Carraway ripped a two-bomb with 40 seconds left of the first half to give Atlas the three-goal boost. Carraway finished with two one-point goals, a two-bomb and had one assist: Another dominating performance for Atlas after scoring five points in Week 2.

Rambo had three goals and two assists. Brad Smith and John Haus each added one. On the night, the Whips had seven different goal scorers.

“We exploded in the second half more,” Rambo said. “We did more of a two-man game, just trying to pick off, make plays and get [Atlas] confused.”

Jeff Teat made his PLL debut after being removed from the Unable to Travel list. Teat was quiet in the first half but recorded his first pro-point in the third quarter. Teat found Carraway on a bounce pass to the left elbow where Carraway unloaded his third goal and fifth point. 

“I think the guy’s got excellent vision,” Atlas head coach Ben Rubeor said of Teat. “We have got to learn how to catch some of those passes. I feel like we dropped multiple passes that he made that I thought were good looks. But anyway, that takes time to build that chemistry and yesterday in practice we were catching them. So, hopefully we'll start clicking.” 

Atlas is a young team. Rubeor said it is a process to learn how to win close games and it’ll come with time.

Rambo credits the Whips’ success to its veteran roster. “You know how it is in the PLL, it’s hard to get wins here,” he said. “We’re a little bit older, veteran team. I’m happy we kept our composure throughout the whole game, even though we were down three at half.”

Atlas gets another shot to add to the win column Sunday against the Cannons.

The Whipsnakes take on Chrome in the final matchup in Baltimore.

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